RIVERSIDE — The football coach of Hemet High School and his wife were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of providing sex for at least two former members of the school's football team, authorities reported.
Randy Brown, 38, and his wife, Kelly, 31, were each booked into Riverside County Jail on $5,000 bail, and each faces felony charges of committing oral copulation with a minor and conspiracy to commit oral copulation, Riverside County Deputy Dist. Atty. Todd Rash said.
The prosecutor said that Kelly Brown was under investigation for having sex with minors and that her husband did not engage in such sexual activity but "was involved in a conspiracy for it to take place, (and) therefore he was charged with the underlying offense as well."
Brown was placed on administrative leave last week after school district officials were given word of the investigation, said Robert McPherson Jr., a school board member serving as district spokesman.
"The potential here for damage to the staff, to students and to the community is unbelievable, and we have to proceed very carefully," McPherson said. "To make any kind of statement at this time that goes into detail would be absolutely ridiculous on our part.
"I am absolutely shocked by the allegations," he said, "but I must say, these are only allegations."
Riverside County Sheriff's Investigator Henry Sawicki said that although the original arrest alleged only one victim, his department's investigation has found more than one victim--he would not say how many--and that the investigation is continuing.
"The situation was brought to our attention last week and it came to the point where we felt we had enough evidence to submit the case to the district attorney's office and execute a search warrant," said Sawicki, the department's spokesman. "But the investigation still has quite a way to go. There are a lot of people to interview."
Sawicki said the alleged sex acts occurred recently over several months. Rash said that a third minor allegedly was solicited to have sex with the coach's wife but declined.
Neither Rash nor Sawicki would discuss the possible motive for the alleged incidents. "I won't get into motive," Rash said. "Who knows about these sorts of things."
The couple were arrested without incident Tuesday morning. "They were very cooperative," Rash said. The couple's four children were turned over to relatives. The Browns could not be reached for comment.
Dan Anady, owner of a Hemet trophy shop and president of the football parents' boosters club, said, "It was a surprise to me, and I just don't want to comment."
Brown was named football coach in 1985, after coaching at Visalia. Since then, his teams have compiled a 51-30 record with two ties, and last season went 7-4, earning a championship playoff berth for the first time in five years.
Brown had resigned as Hemet's football coach after a 1989 brawl between his team and Perris High School's football team. Hemet players acknowledged that they had taunted their opponents with racial slurs on the playing field to intimidate them. Brown apologized for the incident and later withdrew his resignation.